Missed y'all lately.  As I'm sure you could tell from my last post, I've been a wee bit overwhelmed at school lately.  I'm trying to get my assessments ready for report cards - I know some most of you are in traditional calendar schools, but I teach in a year round school.  (You can learn more about my crazy calendar here.)  Anywhoo, here's a quick little assessment to see how my green beans do with CCSS standard 2.RL.7.  Feel free to download for free from TPT.  Enjoy!!
Download from TPT here.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
I know many of you are going back to school soon, so y'all should probably just ignore this post.  It's kind of a downer, and I don't want to cause you unnecessary stress, but it feels cathartic to share this, even though I'm telling you not to read it.

I'm in my 6th week back in school, and having a very difficult time doing my job this year.  My green beans are very sweet, and I miss them when I am not there.  These kiddos remind me of why I became a teacher.  I am there to help them become independent, critical thinkers who will benefit our society and the world as adults.  My job is important, and I take it seriously.

However, there's the downside: paperwork, meetings, new curriculum, little support for new curriculum, more paperwork, more meetings to discuss the paperwork, 10 different passwords to enter data in 10 different websites - all of which are {apparently} important, changes in how we collect the data, changes in how we analyze the data, and a constant barrage of 30 emails a day in my school account - each of which must be read.  I'd like to have an opportunity to spend my planning time actually planning my lessons or analyzing student work to learn more about the green beans I work with throughout the year.

I'm sick at home today, since my anxiety has my stomach in knots and I can't keep food down.  The stress is actually making me ill.  I'm not the only one, as gauged in the stress level of my colleagues; it seems that many of us have the same level of stress, so comments get mis-interpreted, leading to further stress.  I went looking online for a bit of inspiration, and found a video called “The Myth of the Super Teacher” from Roxanna Elden.
It's over 12 minutes long, but definitely worth the time.  I found it funny and insightful, even though this is my 14th year of teaching instead of my first.

I know you've seen these around on the internet:
Groovy Green

I heard that they are super quiet, but didn't think much of them.  Then my electric pencil sharpener died... again.  I went through 4 heavy-duty electric pencil sharpeners in 2 years - not kidding!!  Most of it wasn't my fault, but things happen when your room in unattended during track outs.  One broke due to a crayon incident, another, due to a bang on the floor.  The last one sounded like it was dying for weeks before it finally stopped.  The irony - none of them sharpened very well.  My class perfected a twisting motion as you sharpen to avoid the "I'm only gonna sharpen on one side for you" attitude that these sharpeners had.  Enough is enough.  The 4th sharpener is off-limits to students, so it has held up well.  That leaves the dilemma of when students need to sharpen their own pencils because they have a special pencil from the prize box, etc.  

I contacted Troy from Classroom Friendly Supplies to see if I could get one to review for my blog, and he was so helpful! My groovy green sharpener arrived within 3 days, with tracking updates, and looked super cool.

Look at that point!  Love it!  All of our pencils come out like that, even the cheap-o ones that were a penny from Staples a couple weeks ago.  Visit Troy from Classroom Friendly Supplies to order yours now!!

Here's a video that shows how easy it is to use!!

Phew!  Fin-all-ly I finished my Mystery Word of the Week set for the year.  Check it out by clicking the pic below...

****Update - This set has been updated, again!! If you have already purchased this set, please go back and download again for free from your TPT purchases page!****

Need more Mystery Words?  Here's the beginning of year 2!!

I'm off to answer emails from parents about their green bean's interim reports!  (Can you believe I've already been in school over 4 weeks?!?)  Enjoy!!
I know.  Most of you are in the last throes of the summer break.  I just finished the 4th week with my kiddos, and I'm working on interims for my students.  Uggh.  I'm about to get 13 parents who won't understand why their green bean is struggling in the new grade, but we just switched to the CCSS curriculum, which is definitely more rigorous. 

Anywhoo... I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for Currently:
My Back 2 School Must Haves:
Daily 5/CAFE - read the books from the Sisters!!
Mystery Word of the Week -  I am going to improve the vocabulary of my students with these!!
Mystery Number of the Week - I'm trying to incorporate more best practices in math, so these should be perfect!!!!

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